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Whatley family papers

Identifier: LH-0009

Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of papers of Vachel Davis Whatley and the Whatley family from ca. 1892-1944. The papers include accounts, sporadic correspondence, daybooks, a diary (1915) of Annice L. Whatley containing clippings and writings, a diary (1933-1937) of Vachel D. Whatley's daily activities, school and attendance records (1908-1912) for Bowdon College (Ga.), and scrapbooks containing clippings and printed material. The materials mainly pertain to Vachel D. Whatley and document his presidency of Bowdon College, his writings, and the family's financial status. Materials relating to Vachel D. Whatley Jr. include a daybook of writings, and a scrapbook of clippings about Confederate Memorial Day. The collection also contains correspondence of John W. Whatley.

The genealogist for the family was George Fields Whatley, youngest child of Vachel Sr. For further information, see Fields Whatley's 1989 book, The Families of Whatley, Persons, Roop and Fields.


  • Approximately 1892-1944


Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users; no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use note

Rights transferred to the University of West Georgia.

Biographical/Historical note

Vachel Davis Whatley, Sr., the son of Walton Bell Whatley and Julia Rosabella (Persons) Whateley, was born April 15, 1868 at Antioch, Troup County, Georgia. He attended schools in Troup County, Antioch High School, Tallapoosa Public Schools, and graduated from Bowdon College June 28, 1898 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He joined the Roopville Baptist Church August 5, 1905 and was baptized by the Rev. W.W. Roop. While residing in Carrollton, he was a member of the First Baptist Church and taught the Men's Bible Class for many years. He married Lizzie Alberta Fields. Their children were Annice Lucile, Vachel Davis, Jr., John Walton, and George Fields.

Vachel D. Whatley served as head of the following schools: Rock Mills High School, Chula in Tiff County, Roopville High School, Villa Rica High School (principal), Tallapoosa Public Schools (principal), Lineville College, Lineville, Alabama (president), Bowdon College (president), Hutcheson Collegiate Institute, Whitesburg, Georgia (president), and Bowdon College nine years (president). He was Superintendent of Carroll County Public Schools for twelve years and taught in the Fourth District A & M School summer school for several years.

Whatley was a member of the F. & A.M., Chancellor Commander of the Woodmen of the World, member of the I.O.O.F., Farmers Alliance, and president of the Farmers Union. He was also active in the business world. While in Lineville, he was joint editor of the Lineville Headlight and owned half-interest in the Roop-Whatley Hardware. He owned a number of shares in Roop Hardware Company in Carrollton and organized and owned the Whatley Drug Store and Whatley grocery in Bowdon. He was one of the organizers and stockholders of the Villa Rica Light and Power Company, a stockholder in three banks, and a director of the Bowdon Railway. He served as the mayor of Bowdon, Georgia. He died September 11, 1946 in Rome, Georgia, and is buried in the Carrollton, Georgia, City Cemetery.

George Fields Whatley, the donor of this collection and son of Vachel Davis Whatley and Lizzie Alberta (Fields) Whatley, was born in Bowdon, Georgia, September 5, 1911. He graduated from Carrollton High School in 1929. After attending Bowdon State Normal & Industrial College for one year and Berry College for one year, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served two terms of service. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1934 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. He served as principal of Clem Junior High School for two years, then went to Florida, where he worked for Watt and Sinclair Construction Company and the Palm Beach Post Office. In 1942 he returned to the Amry, graduating from the Adjutant General's School at Washington & Jefferson College with a superior rating.

Upon leaving the service, he went to Polk County, Georgia, where he was editor of the Polk County Times for six years. Later he was manager of the Georgia State Department of Veterans Service in Polk County. He resigned this position to become Clerk to the Polk County Commissioners. After six years he became Postmaster at Cedartown and six years later took the job of County Administrator of Polk County. Then he became Georgia Department of Labor investigator and hearing officer, but after two years returned to his former position. He then retired and moved to Florida in 1978. He died there October 17, 2000.


4.81 Linear feet (10 boxes, 1 oversize folder)



Arrangement note

Arranged by record type.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Collection was received from George Fields Whatley, 2 Aug. 1988.

General note

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Processing Information note

Processed by Suzanne Durham, 2008.

Guide to the Whatley family papers LH-0009
Finding aid prepared by Written by Suzanne Durham
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States